iOS Board Games

Among the best things in life is playing printed games in person with family and close friends. When those are not convenient we like iOS Board Games. News, reviews, previews, and opinions about board gaming on iPhones, iPads, iPods and even Android devices. (iPhone board games, iPad board games, iPod board games, Android board games)

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(Gift Guide) Top 10 Apps Every Board Gamer Should Own AND Community List Nominations

Brad Cummings
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Welcome to the 2017 Gift Guide!

In 2016 it occurred to us that the gift guide is basically just a collection of some of the best games we feel every digital board gamer should own. So, we decided this year that we would instead make a Top 10 List of Apps Every Board Gamer should own. The concept is the same, only the format has changed. If you open up an iOS or Android device this Christmas or just want some digital recommendations, this is the place to start.


To help us in this endeavor, we’ve enlisted Milena Gubernic and Matt Thrower two big board games fans and lovers and digital board games.


The 4 of us have created top 10 lists and will share two ranks each day with you. It all starts tomorrow!

Community Top 10 List

By request from last year, we are going to do a top 10 list voted on by the community. The first step is to submit games that you think should be nominated as one of the Top 10 Digital Board Games of All Time.

You can submit games you think should be on the list via this Google form. The cut off will be 12am PDT Tuesday 12/12: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfQ1yn7cmadIUtkE_sv...

Rules for game submissions:
- Currently playable on iOS, Android, or PC/Mac
- Based on an existing board game or presented as an original digital board game (interactive fiction that has tabletop roots also works, like gamebooks)

The staff of iOS Board Games on BGG reserve the right to not feature a game in the final listing for any reason.

Voting for the top 10 will start on Wednesday 12/13.
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App News: Asmodee Releases New Carcassonne for Android/PC While Also Taking Over Digital Gloom and Tim Fowers Goes to Steam

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Asmodee Releases Carcassonne for Android/PC
Have you heard of Carcassonne? It's this pretty neat game about lazy farmers that was all the rage back before my kids were born. You might have seen it on the App Store. The Coding Monkeys made a really nice version of the game for iOS a while back, but they don't deal with other platforms so Android users were basically up Carcassonne: The River without a paddle.

As luck would have it, our digital overlords at Asmodee Digital have yet to achieve full world domination, so they're still publishing apps and the lack of a decent Carcassonne on Android or PC was an opportunity they couldn't pass up. Thus, this week we have a shiny, new version of Carcassonne for all you Android and PC users out there.

The new Carcassonne is fully 3D and has cross-platform online asynchronous play between Android and PC, iOS users need not apply.

Asmodee wrote:
In addition, Asmodee Digital’s new Android version of Carcassonne has been released with exciting new features, including beautiful new artwork, 2D and 3D perspective, pass-and-play mode, updated AI (three different AI behaviors thoroughly tested by Hans im Glück: Easy Neighbor, Fierce Egoist, and Risk-Taker) and asynchronous online play (cross-platform compatible with Android and Steam), including ranked games and leaderboards. It will be available at the discounted price of $1.99 for the first 30 days after launch and comes with the The Abbot expansion.


They've also let us know that expansions like Carcassonne: Expansion 2 – Traders & Builders, Carcassonne: Expansion 1 – Inns & Cathedrals, and Carcassonne: Expansion 3 – The Princess & The Dragon should be available via IAP in the not too distant future. They're also adding via a free update "champion-level" AI which they promise will challenge even the most Carcassonne-y of you.

- Carcassonne for Android, $2
- Carcassonne for PC via Steam, $10





Gloom Coming in 2018 From, You Guessed It, Asmodee Digital
We've been hearing about a digital version of Gloom for a while now, but it was only yesterday we learned that the tentacles of Asmodee Digital were now involved with bringing it to life.

Gloom is being developed by Sky Ship Studios and published by Asmodee and will be released for PC in March of 2018. For those of us on mobile, don't worry, it's coming to tablets after its release on Steam.

The PC release sounds like it will have all the Asmodee polish we've come to expect, although there is no mention of asynchronous play in the press release. I haven't played Gloom since...never, so I'm not sure if it's suited to asynchronous play or not.

Asmodee wrote:
-Friends List: Asmodee knows that misery loves company, so they’ve enabled players to build a list of friends within the Gloom platform and chat with prospective opponents before a session.
-Single Player: Misanthropes who prefer to languish alone can compete against bots.
-Immediate Bot Replacement: When online players grow too sad to go on, Gloom will instantaneously swap in AI opponents.
-Karma System: Gloom will use Asmodee Digital’s Karma system to reward good behavior (not leaving games in the middle of a match, etc.), allowing players to set a minimum Karma requirement for players joining their match.
-Cross Platform Play (Coming Soon): With cross-platform compatibility between devices, Gloom players will be able to suffer on any system when the game expands to tablets in 2018.


I'm sure we'll find out more about Gloom as we get closer and closer to release. We'll stay on top of it.



Tim Fowers Takes Paperback and Burgle Bros. to Steam
A prolific board game designer, Tim Fowers is also a prolific app designer. Actually, I'm not sure it's Tim literally sitting and making these apps on his own, but it could be and that's good journalism.

Both Paperback and Burgle Bros have been on mobile for a bit, but yesterday they made the jump to the big screen, otherwise known as your laptop. Yesterday, both of them arrived on Steam.

The Steam versions seem to be identical to the mobile versions, but if you want to play in Windows, now you can. They're also just as cheap as the mobile versions, so picking the games up on multiple platforms won't break the bank.

You can pick both games up for iOS, Android, and PC at the links below. No, there aren't Mac versions so I'll just stick to my iPad, thank you very much.

- Paperback for iOS Universal, $4
- Paperback for Android, $4
- Paperback for PC via Steam, $5
- Burgle Bros. for iOS Universal, $5
- Burgle Bros. for Android, $5
- Burgle Bros. for PC via Steam, $5
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Fri Dec 1, 2017 8:11 pm
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First Look: Metro

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Metro
Availability: iOS, Android
Price: $4.99
Store Links: iOS, Android

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Fri Dec 1, 2017 3:00 pm
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App News: Metro Arrives for iOS/Android and Through the Ages Beta For Steam Now Open

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Queen Games Delivers Metro to the App Store
Dirk Henn's track-building tile-layer, Metro - The Board Game, was released back in 1997 and it only took Queen Games 20 years to bring it to mobile. Okay, they probably didn't start working on it until recently, but I liked the joke so I stuck with it. Sue me.

Metro is a path-building game in which players are trying to lead their cars to stations, earning points for every tile they cross and double points if they manage to hook up to stations located in the middle of the board. What separates it from other path-building games like Tsuro is the sheer number of starting points you have in Metro. Players encircle the board with their trains, making good tile placement a lot harder than what you'd expect in a game like this.

The digital version is okay, particularly if you enjoy single player vs. AI. There is online multiplayer, but I still haven't been able to get an online game working and I've been trying since black Friday. I've written a short review of Metro over at Stately Play which you can find here if you want more detail or just want another place on the internet where you can call me an idiot.

Metro is available for both iOS Universal and Android and runs $5. You can pick it up at the links below:

- Metro - The Board Game for iOS Universal, $5
- Metro - The Board Game for Android, $5
- Metro - The Board Game for Kindle, $5



Czech Games Edition Looking for PC/Mac Beta Testers for Through the Ages
Not to spoil our upcoming end of year awards/lists-thing that we do, but Through the Ages from Czech Games Edition is my 2017 #1. I pretty much love everything about it and spend way too much time staring at it on my phone. I'm hoping, however, that soon I can stop staring at it on my phone and start staring at it on my laptop. We knew CGE was bringing TtA to Steam at some point, and the beta for doing that is starting soon. More importantly, you can sign up if you want to help bring this gem to Steam.

The signups are for folks who want to test TtA on their PC or Mac. Linux isn't an option (at least not yet). You don't even have to have played the mobile version to get accepted, in fact they're looking for players without a strong TtA background to give it the once-over.

Sound interesting? Of course it does! Then, what are you waiting for? Follow the link below and sign up today.

- Through the Ages Steam beta application

- Through the Ages for iOS Universal, $10
- Through the Ages for Android, $10
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Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:43 pm
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First Look: Mille Bornes

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Mille Bornes
Availability: iOS, Android
Price: $1.99
Store Links: iOS, Android

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Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:09 pm
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App News: Imperial Assault Companion App Imminent and Mysterium Starts Telling Secrets & Lies

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Imperial Assault Companion App, Legends of the Alliance, On the Way
Ever since Fantasy Flight Games launched their automated GM app for Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition), Road to Legend, people have been clamoring for news of a similar app for FFG's Star Wars based dungeon crawler, Star Wars: Imperial Assault. We knew it was being worked on, but that was about it until yesterday when FFG revealed that the app would be called Legends of the Alliance and that it will be coming very soon.

The app is similar to the Road to Legend app in that it removes the need for a GM, so all players can play cooperatively on the same side. It will tell you what tiles to lay, where to place baddies, and even control the bad guys when it's their turn. It can even track your characters through a campaign, keeping track of their earned abilities and equipment from session to session. That last part will be necessary because the app will also come with a new five mission campaign that begins right after the first Death Star goes kaboom at the end of A New Hope (spoilers!).

Much like the Descent and Mansions of Madness: Second Edition apps before it, Legends of the Alliance will scale based on which physical sets you own. The more cardboard you own, the more missions unlock. That said, you can play the new five mission campaign using only the materials found in the base game of Imperial Assault.

No word on when Legends of the Alliance will actually land on the App Store, but we have been told we can expect it for iOS, Android, and Steam very soon. We'll let you know when it hits.



Mysterium Expands With Secrets & Lies
Of all the digital board games published in the last year by Asmodee Digital, the weirdest choice was probably Mysterium (2017 / Mobile). A cooperative, real-time game that relies on player communication and discussion just seemed like an odd fit for mobile. That said, it ended up working pretty well and the multiplayer experience is actually quite fun. Last night Mysterium became an even bigger draw when the Mysterium: Secrets & Lies expansion arrived.

Secrets and Lies adds a bunch of new cards including 18 new "story" cards which let the investigators search for a Why the ghost was offed in addition to the Where and Who.

Asmodee Digital wrote:
- New expansion "Secrets & Lies" available:
Discover 6 new suspects (including Count Warwick himself), 6 new locations and 6 new items. And for the first time, experience a brand new game mode, thanks to the 19 story cards which are able to replace items for ever more mystery-filled games!
- AI improvements based on analytics of users decisions
- Tweaking psychic AI in story mode when the player is the ghost
- Various Bug fixes


The new expansion is available now on iOS, Android, and Steam and costs $2 via IAP.

- Mysterium for iOS Universal, $5
- Mysterium for Android, $5
- Mysterium for PC, $10
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Digital Board Game Sales for Thanksgiving and Black Friday

Brad Cummings
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The Thanksgiving holiday is upon us in the US. That means holiday shopping has reached a fever pitch!

It also means, it's time for digital board game sales. This year we're going to try something a bit different. Follow the link below for a Google Spreadsheet that we'll update as we hear about new sales:

Thanksgiving and Black Friday Digital Board Game Sales

Know about a sale we don't have on the list? Let us know in the comments or via geekmail.
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First Look: Flipflop Solitaire

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First Look: Flipflop Solitaire
Availability: iOS
Price: Free
Store Links: iOS

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Wed Nov 22, 2017 3:05 pm
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First Look: Catan Universe

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Catan Universe
Availability: iOS, Android
Price: Free with IAP
Store Links: iOS, Android

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Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:00 pm
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App News: Catan Universe Arrives on Mobile, Carrier Battles For Guadalcanal Gets Another Update and more...

David Neumann
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Catan Universe Released on iOS and Android
There's been a digital version of Catan (2007) for so long, I'm not sure Brad was even born when it was released (he's really young...like 12 or something). Last week, for some reason, a new version of Catan (2017 / Mobile) was unleashed onto mobile called Catan Universe. No, it's not a space-themed Catan, it's just a new way to play the same game of Catan we always used to play. Weird.

Catan Universe is a free-to-play version of Catan that lets you play, for free, against two other humans. I think it also has solo play, because nothing is more fun than trading with a computer. I'm not really sure what's going on, but I do know that there's an in-game currency which, I'm guessing you can earn by playing or via credit card, and that you'll use that to unlock new modes like Seafarers or Knights & Cities.

Due to my ignorance [and laziness -ed.] I'm going to blurb a bunch here:

Go on a journey to the Catan universe, and enter into exciting duels against players from all over the world. The board game classic and the Catan card game bring a real table top feeling to your screen, with brand new graphics.

Play the basic board game in multi-player mode, and the introductory game of “Catan – The Duel” free of charge. You can also master the free “Arrival on Catan”, to permanently unlock the single player and custom match mode for the “Arrival on Catan” scenario, to play against the AI or with your friends.

For even more variety, unlock the complete basic game, and the expansions “Cities & Knights” and “Seafarers” as in-app purchases, defend yourself against barbarian invasions, journey to new shores, and compete against cunning computer opponents.

Play with your Catan Universe account on the device of your choice: You can use your login on numerous desktop and mobile platforms! Become part of the huge worldwide Catan community, and compete against players from all over the world, and on all supported platforms!

Features:

- Settle - trade - build - become ruler of Catan!
- Play on all your devices with one account
- Faithful reconstruction of the board game “Catan” and the card game “Catan – The Duel”
- Design your own avatar
- Chat with other players
- Form guilds
- Play numerous achievements and unlocks
- Get additional expansions and play modes as in-app purchases
- Start very easily with the comprehensive tutorial

Features in development:

- Fight tournaments as guilds or for your own glory.
- Prove yourself in numerous additional expansions.

Free-to-play content:

- Basic game free matches against two other human players
- “Arrival on Catan” – permanently unlock single-player and custom-match modes against friends, or against the AI
- Introductory game free matches: Catan duel
- Registration bonus of 100 gold and 2 scrolls – unlock expansions and complete access to auto match, single player and custom matches with scrolls for a limited time
- Further scrolls by leveling up


Now that, my friends, is how you blurb it.

Want to give this new version of Catan a go? It won't cost you a penny. At least not right away.

- Catan Universe for iOS Universal, free
- Catan Universe for Android, free
- Catan Universe for Kindle, free
- Catan Universe for PC via Steam, free



Carrier Battles for Guadalcanal Updates Again
In these rather news-free times of the year, we can always count on one thing: our favorite iOS war game getting an update. That's because Carrier Battles for Guadalcanal is always getting updated. Seriously, I don't think its designer, Cyril Jarnot, has taken a day off since it released a few years back. Go take a nap, Cyril!

Anyway, the new update brings CBfG to version 2.2.1 and includes the following:

Cyril Jarnot wrote:
The 2.2 brings a new scenario occuring early 1942
The US carriers were raiding Japanese position everywhere to avenge Pear Harbor

The 2.1 has mainly concentrated on naval forces
They are now smaller (12 ships) which requires careful composition and open new tactical opportunities
The naval torpedo system has been reworked with limited ammunition and reduced power. This is balancing surface battles although the Imperial Japanese Navy remains a dangerous opponent


Not as major an update as some in the past, but consider the 2.0 update included adding multiplayer, I think we can give Cyril a pass.

If you're a grognard looking for some good hex & counter action on your iPad, look no further. This is the best you'll find on the App Store.

- Carrier Battles for Guadalcanal for iPad, $5



Pathfinder Adventures Gets an Update
It's been a while since I've talked about my favorite mobile game of 2016, Pathfinder Adventures. That's not because I love it any less, simply because 2017 has been so crazy with other great releases I haven't had a lot of time to spend flinging cards at Goblins.

Sadly, the world doesn't revolve around me and the developers at Obsidian Entertainment keep working on the game even when I'm not playing it. Strange, I know. This week they released a big patch that didn't add any new content, but did target a bunch of niggling bugs and other community issues which sounds like the perfect intro for a blurb:

Obsidian wrote:
New Feature

A new set of dice! The Asmodee Magma Dice are in. This dice set is free to all users who create an Asmodee account or have an existing Asmodee account linked to their device. Once you have the dice you can assign them to a character like you would any other dice.

Top Community Issue

Unicode Support for character nicknames. Characters will no longer become unavailable and will properly display their nicknames throughout the game.

Other Fixes

Progression Break
-Post act events were sometimes stuck in the roll state because the state was not advanced
-Game sometimes crashed when evaluating a card filter

Card
-Card power effect boost was not deactivating so the effect was never removed when canceling a card. We're looking at you Orbs!
-Damage reduction effects were not applied during global damage iterators
-Before You Act damage which skipped the player had dice applied twice (double damage)
-Map move ignoring move restrictions only worked when multiple targets were involved
-Card power examine sometimes ran its callbacks multiple times
-Clear all the card type marks after the ambush phase finishes
-When using Vicious Trident against Leng Spider, check now refreshes correctly to Combat
-Fixed Mokmurian so it won't continually apply -1 to your check even if you cancel using Orb of firestorm
-Fixed BYA and AYA damage failing to be mitigated when discarding Blue Warder to explore the location in All Areas.
-Fixed when the BYA deals 2 damage instead of 1 damage to the first off-turn character when the active character encounters Jaagrath Kreeg in All Areas.
-Fixed when using the Blessing of Nethys, if used to encounter a monster with BYA, encountering the monster twice
-Fixed bonus die being granted from power remains if player cancels discarding a Polearm weapon
-Fixed If you use an item to mitigate BYA damage, you cannot use an item to mitigate combat damage
-Fixed when using stride and moving another person into a bar table, the moved character does not take damage
-Fixed Sunwrought Kyra being unable to learn Enemy Lore: Outsider
-Fixed Summon Monster not activating Ezren's Expanded Spellbook

Character
-Recharge/discard character power was not marked active so it was never disabled

Other
-When boosting a combat check, sometimes the dice/check was not refreshed
-Fixed mobile keyboards displaying password on the autocomplete bar when inputting Asmodee login information


Go ahead and update if you're a longtime player. If you haven't checked out Pathfinder Adventures yet, what's the matter? It was the best game released in 2016, and it's free to download. Sure, all the extra content is going to cost you, but it's worth it.

- Pathfinder Adventures for iOS Universal, free
- Pathfinder Adventures for Android, free
- Pathfinder Adventures for PC/Mac via Steam, $15



Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game on Steam is Good
This is just a reminder in case you've forgotten: The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game from Evil Hat Productions is going digital. Wait, change that. It HAS gone digital. The fine folks at Hidden Achievement have already brought it to Steam for PC/Mac and it should be coming to iOS and Android soon.

The reason I'm brining this up is because we've posted a review at my other site, Stately Play. Head over there to read the whole thing, but know that our reviewer, Nick, liked the digital port quite a bit. I usually wouldn't cross-post like this, but I know there are a lot of you interested in the digital version of Dresden Files and I wanted to make sure you knew it was out on Steam and coming to iOS/Android.

That's all the shameless self-promotion I can handle for one day. Whew.

- Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game for PC/Mac via Steam, $20


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Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:38 pm
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